Something has happened and you decided you want to homeschool your child, so what’s the first step? Well, you have to withdraw your child from school. Let’s show you how to do it.
You must withdraw your child from school and provide the school district with a letter of intent to homeschool them. Check your local school district and follow the process to take your child out of school. It is legal in all 50 States to homeschool your child and is a simple process.
The process to remove your child from public school is straightforward. As mentioned you will need to write up a letter of intent including your child’s name, date of birth and your name and address with a signature. You may include the grade at which they will be homeschooled and usually this is the format. You can double check your local school district for a specific form. Most likely this is all you will need to provide. Make sure to hand carry the letter or send it by certified mail to ensure it arrives and is received officially.
Since compulsory education was introduced, the state in which you reside is responsible to make sure that your child is provided an adequate education. And they are also concerned with your child’s welfare and this is the first line of support for them. This is normal and you can rest assured that they will support you in this important decision for your child. Some states will even have a particular office or website dedicated to Homeschooling and will have all the necessary information about how to take your child out of school and what steps to take to re-enter if you choose.
So what else is important when you take your child and withdraw them from school for homeschooling? You will need to review the next steps such as how to follow up each year with records, your evaluations and your letter of intent if you continue to homeschool your child. Let’s show you how to do this.
What Records to Keep After I Withdraw my Child for Homeschooling?
Once you are responsible for the education of the child you should keep organized records of the daily and weekly and semester progress. What did they finish this week and were there any quizzes or tests? These are all necessary for yourself to make sure your child is on track. And you can easily spot any difficulties right away. You also will need to provide this to your state or local school district if they request it. Some states require it every semester or annually. You may check here for your state to see an overview of the process and whether you will need to do it once a year or not.
Can I temporarily homeschool my child?
The good news is if you want to do temporary homeschooling it is perfectly fine. You can check this article about temporary homeschooling while moving. And also if you feel they are falling behind or if there happens to be an emergency like the Coronavirus epidemic, you may take your child out of school to handle this. You will have to be mindful though to consider if there are any other implications. For example, will you want to re-enter school next semester? If so you will need to check the regulations for how to do this. And you should also consider your child and if they are OK with this new situation. Talk with them and your family about it.
How to Evaluate my Child Every Year for Homeschooling?
We mentioned that you would have to do a yearly evaluation of your child to make sure they are on track every grade, right? This is the way it is in Florida for example, which you can check out here.
State of Florida Statutes
“The parent shall provide for an annual educational evaluation in which is documented the student’s demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability.”
In Florida you will be required to have a certified teacher administer a test that is agreed upon in advance. And they must pass the test and present it to the school board as part of your record in order to continue. Your state may have a similar requirement so please check those regulations for the yearly evaluation.
How many hours a day is required for homeschooling?
The average number of hours to homeschool per week depends on how many subjects you teach and the age of the child. For example, my son needs about 1.5 hours per day but he is only 5 years old right now. As your child gets older the coursework will increase as will the level of intensity. In the beginning you don’t need so many hours. Your child will be with you and the daily activities as they are with you also serve as good teaching moments. Here are some rules of thumb I find useful and if you check around you will see the number varies. But the point is that to homeschool your child is more efficient and takes less time than the normal school day in public school.
Homeschooling Hours Per Day Based on Age
|Grade||Hours Per Day||Notes:|
|Grades K to 5||Half day: 2 to 3hrs||Can include time at the park or museums|
|Grades 6 to 8||Half day: 3 to 4hrs||Depends on other courses: 2nd language, Art, Music…|
|Grades 9 to 12||Half-day+: 3 to 6hrs||May include sports or extracurricular activities|
How do I make a daily schedule for homeschooling?
Once you consider a curriculum or how you plan to teach your child you can use the guides that are provided with the material. You can also easily gauge the amount of material you can teach in a normal class period. Remember if you went to public school it was around 45-50 minutes per class right? Once you do the lessons you will get a feeling for how much you can do per day or week. Usually the lessons are structured to follow the normal speed and amount of time per class. The best part about taking your child out of school for homeschooling is that you can either speed up, slow down or skip certain sections of the lessons. This will be based on your own child specific needs. Below is a schedule you can try out if it fits.
Sample Schedule, 4.5hrs (You may adjust as needed)
|12:00-1:00||Lunch time! Then recess|
|2:45-3:30||Electives-Music, 2nd Language, art, PE|
If I will Continue Homeschooling What Should I do?
Once you have done a semester or school year of homeschooling you may find it is the way you want to go with your family. Your child is making progress and you feel confident that you are providing them a good education with many activities and socialization opportunities. If you want to continue homeschool your child it’s very simple. Simply provide a letter of intent again and follow up with your school district. Every state and county might have a slightly different process but essentially you just need to let them know again.
Then you will need to keep the records and follow up with an evaluation as before. You might also need to show what resources you will use and your plans but this will be different for every state. More students every year are being educated by their parents. Join a co-op or other group in your neighborhood to learn more about homeschooling. These parents will have more than enough resources and advice for your specific questions. Good luck with taking your child out of school for homeschooling!